Colleen's Journey

The Last Chapter…Coming Home

Dear Family and Friends, Yesterday was quite a day. I woke up knowing that I would not make it through the day if I didn’t get to the ER. I was extremly short of of breath and had a tremendous amount of pain in my left chest. Since I was diagnosed just days ago with a new left pleural effusion I realized it must have increased in size a great deal. I attempted to call the only pulmonologist on the island,but kept getting “all circuits are busy” announcement. When we got to the ER, all of their phones and circuit were down due to a fire on Oaha. The hospital computers were all down and so were their phones, so they also had difficulty reaching the pulmonologist, Ted Jackson, MD. Wilcox MemoriaL Hospital took such great care of me. Kept me comfortable (Dilaudid) amazing drug!! Dr. Jackson arrived about 4 or 5 pm and instantly I felt comfortable being treated by him. He drained 1 Liter (1000 cc) of fluid out of my lungs. I felt instant relief! I could take a deep breath without pain. What’s it feel like not being able to breath? Scary!!! Just for the record, I am a person who has always exercised quite vigourously. Running, biking, hiking, etc Because for even a second or two the sense of never being able to take another breath whether shallow or deep is terrifying, even if a person knows just slowing down the breath will help greatly. So attempting to slow down the breath and not panic is a feat in itself. I think being able to be confident enough to know you can will yourself to do anything is amazing!!! I left the ER with a lot more questions than answers. Can I really be comfortablle enough to make it home? Should I just stay? The window of opportunity is now and I know I want to go home. Well, I woke up this morning and our good friend, John Shufeldt, had already been in contact with Nicole about assisting us to get home, via medical airplane. I felt pretty good this morning and got up to watch the beatuty of the sunrise. It was incredible!!! By the time we left breakfast, I was short of breath and a little dizzy and in pain in my left side. So I gave in, checked out what my insurance would pay and decided I would take the air ambulance home. So currently, I am sitting out at the pool watching my grandchildren swin and play, honestly life just doesn’t get better!! My children are all here except Danie, and my two son-in-laws, Billy and Dan. While we really didn’t get too see the island our stay at the Grand Hyatt was extraordinary!! This place is so beautiful!! So I am soaking up the beauty of the island and taking it home with me. Much love, Colleen